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          Friday, October 24, 2008

Carkess' Escape for T2 Released!
- 9:58:52 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released October 24, 2008 - Carkess' Escape a mission for T2 by Carkess

UPDATED: Italian language support by Krenim was added November 10, 2008.

The Mission:
Garrett needs to help out his old Keeper instructor and friend, Carkess. Carkess left the Keepers to live a normal life. Unfortunately, his identity has been discovered, and he had to run for his life. Carkess asked Garrett to sneak into the town, go to his house, get whatever loot he can and, most importantly, to recover Carkess' Keeper Medalion. While Garrett is there, he wants to get the Hand of Glory from the ape beasts and steal back the Mask of the Sun from the local Thieves' Guild.

Impressions:
This is Carkess' first mission. It is a small map, but the mission has a variety of areas. You will see thieves, guards, ape beasts, zombies and even a couple Mechanists as you search for what you need. You also must find a replacement for your blackjack. This mission shows a lot of creativity. Hopefully, Carkess with give us another mission and make it bigger! I had a lot of fun playing this mission.

Stats:
I finished on Normal in 33:36 with 9380/9980 loot.

Screenshots:

Want to ask a question or post a comment? Head over to the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Tears of Saint Lucia - The Dark Mod Beta Released!
- 12:02:27 AM - pavlovscat
New Dark Mod Beta Demo
Released October 21, 2008 - The Tears of Saint Lucia a Beta Demo for the Dark Mod by jdude and The Dark Mod Team

The Mission:
You've heard stories about St. Roderic's Church. It's a small church in a slum district. Recently, St. Roderic's acquired a "Shard of the Master Builder's Hammer". There are many so-called pieces of wood that surface now and again. However, it seems that this Shard may actually be the Holy Relic it has been claimed to be. When the Shard was placed near the church's statue of St. Lucia, the statue began to weep tears of blood. They are calling it a miracle. Donations have been pouring into the small church, and the priests have begun making long-needed repairs. It seems that an "opposing interest" wants to put an end to this. I've been hired to vandalize the statue of St. Lucia and make it appear to be an accident. Also, I must steal the Shard in what must appear to be a simple burglary. This means I need to help myself to any loot I find. I've been paid half my fee. I only get the rest, if I am successful, so I'd better get going.

Impressions:
Note: You must have a patched, working install of Doom 3 to be able to play any of The Dark Mod missions.
Those of you who played the alpha demo, Thief's Den, will be amazed to see the progress the Dark Mod Team has made since its January 18th release of that demo. Of course the Doom 3 engine has gorgeous graphics, so expect to experience a feast for your eyes. This is a much smoother, more polished demo than it's predecessor as well as being much larger. The map is very well-designed with several interesting environments. The blackjacking has been fine tuned so that now it is possible to reliably knock out AI - if they are not alert. You must aim for the back of the head, though, so it is a very realistic effect. Once you've knocked out your man, you can either drag him into the shadows or throw him over your shoulder and carry him. The mantling is very easy which makes climbing a breeze. And what's cooler than this? You get to swim under water! My first time through I was frankly awed by the scenery and new possibilities as well as how smoothly the game played.

Equipment:
You start with a short sword and a few other items in addition to the blackjack and compass. You also will be able to purchase an assortment of equipment in the load-out store before the mission begins. This includes broadhead, water, moss, fire, and noisemaker arrows. Unfortunately, the rope arrow did not make it into this mission but should appear in future missions. There are even flashbombs. You can buy health and breath potions, a very helpful map and even a spy glass. Below are images taken from the same location with and without the spyglass:

Concerns:
Aside from missing the rope arrow, the only real complaint I had was that, due to the size of the mission file, the initial load time is pretty long. I was very happy to see that subsequent loads during the same session, were very much faster and not a problem at all. Before playing The Tears of Saint Lucia, you should review the Gameplay Guide to familiarize yourself with the command keys and other functions specific to The Dark Mod. The controls are different enough that you will likely be very confused if you try to play blind. If you have Doom 3, download this and get busy playing. If you don't have Doom 3 yet, you'll want to find a copy soon before The Dark Mod drives up demand and prices.

Screenshots:

Check out the TTLG Forum Discussion Thread for general comments. Or, head over to The Dark Mod Website and join their forum where you can get all the technical help you need and more.





          Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Heist at Night for T2 Released!
- 4:46:35 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released October 20, 2008 - Heist at Night a mission for T2 by Silencium18

The Mission:
Garrett has heard that the new guy in the city is rich. He has lots of loot, but also many guards. There's even a crypt under the house, and everyone knows crypts usually have lots of loot. The front door is out with all the guards. The back garden is probably the best way in for Garrett.

Impressions:
This is a small, straightforward mission, but enjoyable. It is impossible to get all the loot unless you play on Expert because you have only one objective...get loot. Even on Expert, it takes a little planning, but it is possible to grab it all.

Stats:
Playing on expert, I finished in 16:38 with 2315/2315 loot.

Screenshots:

Visit the Forum Discussion Thread to ask questions or post comments.




Mechanist Facility for T2 Released!
- 4:44:06 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released October 19, 2008 - Mechanist Facility a mission for T2 by cardia1

The Mission:
Once again, the Keepers have asked Garrett to save the world. This time, the Mechanists are building a nuclear bomb which they plan to use to blow up a Pagan territory. If the Mechanists are allowed to destroy the Pagans, that will unbalance the world as the Mechanists build more machines and destroy all the forests. Garrett eventually agreed and successfully sabotaged the bomb. Unfortunately, he left behind footprints and a lockpick with his prints on it. Karras has suspected Garrett, but now he has proof! And, now, worse for Garrett, he's been caught in a Mechanist trap and sent to the planet of Mercury where the Mechanists will hunt him down and kill him. Having a sense of honor as rigid as their metal creations, the Mechanists will set Garrett free, if only he can find a way to survive!

Difficulty Levels:
The basic story is familiar from cardia1's previous missions: Playground of Doom and Temple of Death. Garrett is sent to an off-world prison facility and must survive. This time, on Original difficulty, you will have Keepers fighting with you because they felt bad for getting you into this situation in the first place. On Powerfull, you are alone but will have a Powerfull Weapon to help you survive. If you choose Tough, you are on your own...no Keepers, no super weapon.

Impressions:
This mission starts off with a complex explanation of how Garrett ended up here, and it's believable - if you overlook the space travel aspects. This is another of cardia1's pretty futuristic missions, not that you'll have much time to look around! You can run or fight, it's up to you, but you must find a couple items and some loot before you can leave. I was never much of a fighter, but cardia1's many missions have taught me the fine art of melee fighting. This mission is not for those who don't want to fight. If you like to fight or just want to hone your melee skills, then give it a try.

Screenshots:

If you to comment on Mechanist Facility, go to the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Friday, October 17, 2008

CoSaS Custom Object Packs 1-6 Available!
- 3:49:47 PM - pavlovscat
Circle of Stone and Shadow Custom Object Packs 1 - 6
Digital Nightfall has begun releasing Object Packs of various custom items created for use in CoSaS 2: Mission X. Many of these objects are the ones used to create the air of luxury and privilege in the Ivory Rose Casino & Gentlemen's Club. There are also many more items that didn't make it into the Ivory Rose. If you are looking for some nice custom objects to dress up your FM, have a look at these. Here are download links to the six packs that have been released so far, as well as links to the Forum Discussion Threads where you can see samples of these objects:

Object Pack 1: Beds; Forum Discussion Thread
Object Pack 2: Portcullises; Forum Discussion Thread
Object Pack 3: Ladders; Forum Discussion Thread
Object Pack 4: Keys; Forum Discussion Thread
Object Pack 5: Tinderbox & Flares; Forum Discussion Thread
Object Pack 6: Chairs; Forum Discussion Thread

As time permits, Ditigal Nightfall plans to release many more CoSaS Object Packs, so keep an eye out for them.





          Thursday, October 16, 2008

New T3 NPC Skins by Tiens!
- 12:43:40 AM - pavlovscat
T3 NPC Skins
UPDATE: New Skins released October 16, 2008!
The noble males & servant girls skins are ready. Download them here:
Noble Males Golden Textures
Sexy Female Servants Textures

October 14, 2008 - Tiens released some beautiful new NPC skins for TDS. There are new looks for Mechanists, Aristocratic Ladies and City Ladies made for The Cabal, a mini-campaign which is in the works. The female pagan character skin used for Garrett in Silence Pt 1 was made for Cracked Gear. You can see pictures of the new skins in the Forum Discussion Thread.

Download the texture packs here:
Aristocratic Ladies Golden Textures
City Ladies Textures
Mechanists Textures
Garrett as Lady Pagan Blue Textures

It will be great to see these skins used in some FMs! Tiens is working on new skins for Servant Females and Noble Males, so keep an eye out for those!





          Monday, October 13, 2008

Redemption for T2 Released!
- 5:49:14 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released October 13, 2008 - Redemption a mission for T2 by Brynolf

The Mission:
The Keepers are sending Garrett off to investigate the city of Tellus. Every citizen of Tellus dies at a young age. If they leave the city, they die immediately. Garrett is told of two lost Keeper scrolls: The Scroll of Life and The Scroll of Death. These scrolls could account for the deaths of the citizens of Tellus. Garrett must find these scrolls and help the people of Tellus break their curse.

Impressions:
Redemption is Brynolf's first FM, and it is a good one. The mission is medium in size and has several different areas that you will gain access to as the mission progresses. As you progress, there are many objectives added to the list. There are a good variety of environments with mostly city/mansion-style play with a police station, Hammerite temple and several building to explore. However, you will find some really creepy undead in one area. There is plenty of loot, the majority of which is fairly easy to find.

Overall, I enjoyed this mission very much. It has very good gameplay elements, and the story is compelling. In fact, I believe that most of you will recognize the story as you get further into the mission.

Stats:
On Expert, I finished in 01:12:57 with 13643/13743 loot.

Screenshots:

Check out the Forum Discussion Thread and post comments or ask questions.




Heading Out for T2 Released!
- 3:39:56 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released October 10, 2008 - Heading Out a mission for T2 by Camus

The Mission:
Garrett is planning a long expedition to the town of Whitewater, an old Hammerite stronghold. Before he can leave, he needs to get some loot to finance this trip. At the pub, Garrett overheard mention of an unusual sword found by the archeologist Jones. Jones used this sword as part of a pay off for a debt owed to Lord Wizer. Wizer lives nearby, So, Garrett plans to give the sword, and any other goodies he can find, a new owner.

Impressions:
Are you ready for the Theives' Highway? That is where you will travel for a large part of this entertaining mission. You will need your rope arrows - so don't leave them behind! Take them with you. Heading Out offers several paths to complete your mission. You will work the street and buildings as well as the rooftops. You never know where there is loot to be found. Camus has done an excellent job of utilizing vertical space. The buildings are multi-level with places to explore both inside and outside. If you like traveling the Thieves' Highway, I definitely recommend this delightful mission...no zombies, no beasts, no Hammers or Mechanists or bots. Just a good time leaping across the roof tops and looting the rooms around you.

Stats:
Playing on Normal, I finished in 01:27:09 with 3640/3950 loot and 4/4 secrets.

Screenshots:

Are you stuck? Do you want to tell Camus what you think? Head over to the Forum Discussion Thread and post your comments.





          Friday, October 10, 2008

Material Museum Texture Demo for T3 by Judith Released!
- 5:37:55 PM - pavlovscat
New Demo Mission
September 28, 2008 - Material Museum Texture Demo for T3 by Judith

Texture Demo:
The Flesh engine is capable of rendering some amazing textures. Judith has put together a playable demo of new textures showing the reflective and transparent qualities of various surfaces. There is even a lovely skybox. Many of the textures are displayed as moving surfaces to allow the viewer to show the reflective effect. I've given a few screen shots, but you really should see them for yourself to appreciate them fully. Judith has also given a short explanation of each texture in game to help you enjoy the effects.

Screenshots:

Have questions about using these beautiful textures in your TDS mission? Ask Judith at the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Thursday, October 09, 2008

2008 Third Quarter FM Review Released!
- 7:18:00 PM - pavlovscat
It's that time again! Time for the Third Quarter FM Review. This is a refresher of everything that happened in July, August & September. There were 30 releases in several categories: 2 TG mission updates, 20 new missions for T2 and 1 playable demo, 2 T3 missions (1 new, 1 updated), 1 Dark Mod demo, and 4 music tracks. Check out the review to see what you missed.

Enjoy!




Elizabeth Bathory III: All Souls' Day by Sensut Released!
- 4:55:45 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released August 29, 2008 - Elizabeth Bathory III: On All Souls' Day a mission for T2 by Sensut

I post this late review of Bathory 3 with apologies to Sensut for not reviewing this excellent mission when it was released which happened to be the weekend I was out of town due to Hurricane Gustav.

The Mission:
Elizabeth Bathory continues to tell her story to Gellert, starting after the end of her adventure in Sarvar which is chronicled in the previous mission. First Elizabeth must find a way out of confinement and meet with Anna Darvulya. Next, she will need to get into the castle. There are several important documents she needs to recover including a notary's memorandum, an indictment and her diary.

Impressions:
Sensut never disappoints. Bathory 3 is as good or better than the previous Bathory tales. The mission is beautifully put together. The story is interesting, and the game play is good. The ambient music is just right. The mission is challenging but not extremely difficult. Most things can be found if you just study the surroundings and don't rush through. Overall, this mission is up to the standards I expect from Sensut. I highly recommend the entire Bathory series.

Stats:
Playing on Easy, I finished in 01:43:08 with 6120/6370 loot and 2/2 secrets.

Screenshots:

You can also download a smaller file without the intro movie (49.6 MB vs. 114.9 MB): Elizabeth Bathory III: On All Souls' Day - no briefing. If you haven't played the first two Bathory missions, you should play those first, or you will miss a large part of the story. Download them here: Elizabeth Bathory Chapter I and Elizabeth Bathory II: Blood on Ice. If you need some hints or you want to comment on Bathory 3, go to the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Phoenix Hath Risen for TG Released!
- 12:55:51 AM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released October 06, 2008 - The Phoenix Hath Risen a mission for TG by darthsLair

The Mission:
The Hammers have rebuilt their temple after Constantine's minions wrecked it. Now the High Priest wants to reward Garrett for saving his life. The Keepers also wish to see the Talisman of the Air returned to safe keeping at the Hammerite Temple. The High Priest has asked Garrett to meet him in his office.

Impressions:
While you will recognize the locale, the story is brand new. Instead of Constantine and his creatures, you will have to contend with Mages and some other new surprises. This is an excellent revival of an old mission. You can play as Novice and enter the Temple in disguise as in the OM Undercover. This is the easiest way. Or, for a challenge, you can play as Thief or Master without the disguise and have to sneak through the entire mission. This option gives the FM good replayability. I found the new story as engrossing and enjoyable as the original. It is nice to see an old favorite given a new life.

Stats:
Playing on Novice, I finished in 01:01:48 with 8015/8015 loot and 4/4 pickpockets.

Screenshots:

If you have questions or comments, you can post them in the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The CTEC Votes Are In!!
- 5:46:07 PM - pavlovscat
And the Winner Is...
The Classic Thief Experience Contest Results and mission authors have been announced!

First of all, I'd like to send a big thank you to all the authors who entered the contest. Also, cheers to uncadonego for his hard work making the contest a success. You are all winners in my book! The competition was tough and the final scores were very close for First, Second & Third places; however, the biggest winners are the fans because we got to play all these great missions.

Now, without further ado, here are the final results:

FIRST PLACE: The Unbidden Guest by Melan
Voter Comments
Discussion & Help Thread
I had a fantastic romp over the rooftops! Melan made the most of the limited map and this mission ended up feeling larger that it was. I had several breathless moments as I leaped out into space, hoping to catch a ledge. The story was excellent as was the game play and architecture. I would love to see this expanded into a full sized city mission. It was challenging and entertaining. My one gripe is that if you misuse your fire arrow, you cannot complete the bonus objective.

SECOND PLACE: The Plot Thickens by Ottoj55
Voter Comments
Discussion & Help Thread
Ottoj55 made novel use of the map area by splitting his entry into 3 separate Acts. Act 1 was a great tribute to Assassins. It was a challenging and fun path to trail the thieves and pick their pockets. Act 2 was a short rooftop run followed by an unexpected and unpleasant surprise. Act 3 was the most complex and the most challenging of the 3 which avoided the linear play of Acts 1 & 2. There were many new weapons which I thoroughly enjoyed using. There were also some good puzzles that really made me think. Overall, The Plot Thickens is a diverse mission with great architecture and many challenges.

THIRD PLACE: The Unsung Villian by R Soul
Voter Comments
Discussion & Help Thread
This tribute to Assassins was a lot of fun to play. R Soul's inventive idea of using virtually undetectable teleports to utilize the entire map area was brilliant. Auto-map is always a plus and made exploring the mansion much easier for me. The story was believable, and the readables supported it nicely. The city was very old school TDP. Overall this mission definitely gave me the Classic Experience. The attention to detail was great including the letter left by the delivery person and the various letters found around the mansion. This is a solid mission with excellent game play.

FOURTH PLACE: Shadow Moon by P Forth
Voter Comments
Discussion & Help Thread
I always enjoy rooftop acrobatics which this mission certainly had. The heights were very high indeed. I would have traded some of the heights for more detailed interiors, though, which may have reduced some of the strict linear feeling in this mission. The Cathedral itself was interesting, but the crypts fell flat for me and were a bit disappointing. This mission is certainly playable, but I would love to see P Forth flesh this one out more and give some more interest to the middle areas and interiors.

FIFTH PLACE: Bafford's Town House by Esme
Voter Comments
Discussion & Help Thread
This is Esme's first full mission. She released a demo in the past so was not considered a new author for the purposes of this contest. Her mission was fun and shows a lot of promise. I hope we will see another mission from her when she doesn't have a deadline to meet. Though some areas were sparse, there was plenty to do and some inventive tricks, such as the rope arrow needed to climb out of the well and finding a blackjack. Overall, the game play was solid and the mission enjoyable.

SIXTH PLACE: A Simple Job Planned for This Evening by thief0
Voter Comments
Discussion & Help Thread
This tribute to Constantine's mansion can be overwhelming at first because everything is so topsy-turvy, but, if you experiment and try unusual things, you may find yourself having a lot of fun. I know that I did. This mission isn't for everyone, but I really did get a kick out of all the bits & pieces that made up the whole. If you like missions in the vein of Bestest FM, you should play this one for sure!







          Monday, October 06, 2008

Classic Thief Experience Contest Voting Deadline
- 12:35:52 AM - pavlovscat
Don't forget!! Today, October 6th, is the deadline to get your votes in for the Classic Thief Experience Contest! You can check out the Voting Instructions if needed.

A great big THANKS!! goes out to uncadonego for his hard work in hosting this contest and for all the fabulous prizes!!





          Friday, October 03, 2008

Mission X for T2 Update Released!
- 9:16:30 PM - pavlovscat
Updated Mission
Released October 03, 2008 - Circle of Stone and Shadow 2: Mission X v1.13, a mission for T2 by Team CoSaS (Anarchic Fox, Finial, Yametha, R Soul & Digital Nightfall)

The final version of CoSaS 2: Mission X has been released. In addition to the full mission file, you can get the mission and movies in separate files. A Patch has been provided for those with the original release and limited bandwith. A separate Credits video file was made to go with the Patch. There have been numerous improvements and bug fixes implemented in the past several weeks. You can read about the changes and find downloads for everything mentioned here in the Mission X Update Discussion Thread.

Some great extras were released with v1.13: Digital Nightfall's excellent Mission X Game Manual complete with beautiful illustrations from talented taffers, a high quality Printable Maps Pack, jtr7's CoSaS Lexicon, Deliciound's Memoirs of Courtier soundtrack and, finally, a Walkthrough and Lootlist by pavlovscat. You can find download links for all of these in the Mission X Update Discussion Thread as well.

If you missed the first release, check out my Original Review with screenshots. If you haven't played CoSaS 1: Gathering at the Inn, you should play this mission first.




Plot TG Campaign Update Released!
- 6:13:11 PM - pavlovscat
Updated Mission Campaign
Released September 30, 2008 - Plot for TG by Dront

This campaign for Thief Gold includes three missions: The Jewelled Sword, To the Meeting and The Kill For Life. Dront has improved several things in this updated release. Here's what's new:

  • New voices with much better quality (check the readme for details).
  • The store in the first and second missions now works.
  • Fixed the bug with falling through the ground in the third mission.
  • Fixed some little technical details.

    If you want to find out more about the campaign, go to my Previous Review to read descriptions and see screenshots of all three missions. You can also check the Forum Discussion Thread. You can also find hints and help for the third mission in The Kill for Life help thread.






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